Review – Eternal Hearts by Jennifer Turner

Publisher: Dark Dreams
Publish Date: Out Now!
How I got this book: eARC from author

Toni Tutoro just wants to go home. Banned from Chicago’s vampiric society after cutting a swath of violence through the city, she must now successfully complete an investigation for the Lord of Chicago to regain the right to live in her hometown again.

To ensure Toni’s safety during her probationary period, Drake Black, a feared assassin, is secretly contracted to protect her. Even with direct orders to keep his relationship professional, and his own personal vow to never get involved with a female vampire again, Drake finds himself drawn to Toni in ways he can’t explain. But unbeknownst to him…he’s tied to one of the people who drove Toni to her night of destruction.

Drake’s legendary heritage holds the key to Toni’s survival and success, but will she be able to forgive his connection to the brutal night that robbed her of those she loved most? Will Drake be able to forget the betrayals in his past and risk taking one more chance? But most of all – can they find a way to reach each other in the darkness?
*Blurb from Goodreads*

After reading the first Darkness Within book, I was anxious for the second, and so excited when Turner asked if I was willing to review Drake’s book. I have to say though, the tone of this book felt very different to me than the first. It didn’t feel nearly as dark as the first book was.Drake is an assassin, and after coming off an extended string of contracts, he gets a protection order for a female vampire who needs someone to watch her back as she petitions to come back to live in Chicago. Too bad Drake can’t stand female vampires, and wants nothing to do with this assignment. But when he meets Toni and realizes that she is nothing like the female vamps he knows, he is unexpectedly drawn to her.

Toni’s lived the last three years on the road, and in constant hell. Her family was slaughtered, she didn’t get her revenge, and was forced to leave the only home she ever knew. When Drake follows her around the city and offers her protection, she can’t help but to start falling for him. When she realizes that he has been holding back secrets from her, and is then put immediately on the investigation of werewolves in the city, she might not get the chance to work out her feelings before the world turns on end.

One of the big things I enjoy about this series is that the games the ancient vampires play with their “pawns” is so twisted and dark and convoluted and wrong on so many levels. At the same time it’s awesome to try and read and figure out what all is going on. Who is on who’s side. What the desired outcome it, etc. etc. The ending little snippet with the two ancients and how they initiate their games like movements on a chess board was so intriguing and a little screwed up. But I love it!

I loved Drake from the first book, and kept on loving him through the second. He was mysterious and sexy and an alpha male to the core. I love that he went from hating all female vampires, to falling head over heels for Tony. Watching him peel back the layers for her, reveal new aspects of himself was great. I do feel though that there was so much more to Drake that we didn’t get. He is still somewhat of an enigma to me.

Toni was great as well. I liked her childish and carefree ways. It was so different from all the other characters that she really stood out in the world. She was a bad ass when needed to be, and yet sweet and caring and so young at times as well. I worried about her throughout the book though. at times she came across as so different. Sometimes she would be so strong and so fierce, and other times she was so sensitive and sheltered and insecure. There didn’t seem to be a ton of consistency to her character.

The romance between Drake and Toni was well done. I liked the conflict they went through together, as well as the struggles they had individually. I did feel that they came to love one another a little too quickly, especially for Drake. It was hard for me to imagine this stone cold killer who kept everything bottled so tightly would go from hating female vampire to falling for one in just two short days. It was a little rushed and sudden for me.

Like the first book, I was happy to see a great cast of secondary characters. Odin was back, although we didn’t get to see nearly enough of him. Turner has a wide selection of characters, and I almost felt that there are too many people to keep track of. I want to know more about everyone, but after a while started getting confused about who was who from the first story to the second and so on.

All in all this is a great sophomore novel from Turner. The story is dark and twisted and fabulous with all its secrets and plots turns. I hope that she continues to write in this world, because the world building is exceptionally done.

I give Eternal Hearts a B-


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